State Department: ‘We Will Not Be Ruled’ by ‘Domestic Constituencies or Israelis’

The headquarters of the U.S. Department of State in the Harry Truman Building / Wikimedia Commons
• November 11, 2015 3:14 pm


A onetime Jewish aide who worked with the State Department during its negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians has claimed that Obama administration officials could be heard in the hallways of Foggy Bottom shouting, "We are the United States of America—we will not be ruled whether it’s by domestic constituencies or Israelis!"

The revelation, which came during a recent panel discussion and was reported by Haaretz, comports with comments by other insiders indicating that the Obama administration has had a tense and fractured relationship with the Israelis.

Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren made similar claims in his recent memoir, recalling multiple instances of Obama administration hostility toward Israel, including verbal threats.

Laura Blumenthal, one of several Jewish aides who were involved in Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to foster peace, made the most recent disclosure during a panel discussion hosted by the Jewish Federation of North America, a Jewish community umbrella organization.

Blumenthal, who was a senior policy adviser for Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian negotiations team from 2013 to 2015, explained that much of the administration’s hostility came as a result of the failed negotiations, which Kerry had tried to kickstart.

"The administration really felt like they were really humiliated and undercut by the Israelis during the war," Haaretz quoted Blumenthal as saying. "And you heard people say out loud, fight loudly in the stairwell in the State Department, saying ‘We are the United States of America—we will not be ruled whether it’s by domestic constituencies or Israelis!’"

"Obviously we’ve been seeing a breakdown in message discipline on all sides," Blumenthal added in response to questions. " I think it’s symptomatic of a kind of resentment and tension in the relationship."

The State Department declined to comment on Blumenthal’s anecdote when asked by the Washington Free Beacon.